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Reply #120: Popper's book "The Open Society and it's Enemies" was one of the most profound books I've ever read. [View All]

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-07-07 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #18
120. Popper's book "The Open Society and it's Enemies" was one of the most profound books I've ever read.
I used to be a Marxist until I read The Open Society and It's Enemies. Any person who hates totalitarianism, including us folks on the Libertarian Left (most DUers), should read it. It is sad that Popper's reputation among left-wing circles has been tarnished because his ideas have been abused by Neo-Liberals and other Right-Libertarians. One of Popper's most important points was dispelling the misconception, going all the way back to Plato, that equates Individualism with Egoism and Collectivism with Altruism. This misconception is totally wrong, you can have Altruistic Individualism (Anarchism being the extreme of this) and you can have Egoistic Collectivism (Fascism, Theocratic Fundamentalism, and Hyper-Nationalism in all it's disgusting forms). Popper was an Altruistic Individualist. I equate Individualism and Collectivism with the Libertarian-Authoritarian axis of the Political Compass chart and Altruism and Egoism with the Left-Right axis of that chart.

Thus:

Egoistic Individualism = Right-Libertarianism (Moderate: Neo-Liberalism, Extreme: Randian Objectivism)
Egoistic Collectivism = Right-Authoritarianism (Moderate: Paleo-Conservatism, Extreme: Fascism)
Altruistic Individualism = Left-Libertarianism (Moderate: Social Democracy, Extreme: Anarchism)
Altruistic Collectivism = Left-Authoritarianism (Moderate: 19th Century American Populism, Extreme: Stalinism
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